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[help] Boot to DOS & Windows 9x/2K/10 active installations but on different drives


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#1 Kimik

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Posted 3 weeks ago

Hi guys,

 

I have 5 SSDs (DOS/Windows) and I want create  a simple boot menu using Windows boot manager + grub4dos & bootice to edit the .bcd file.  As of 2020, is still not an easy job... :)

 

grub0.png

 

HD0 - DOS/Windows 3.11 / Windows 2000 (dual boot ntldr)

HD1 - Windows 98SE

HD2 - old Windows10/ Windows 95 OSR2 - dual boot created with EASYBCD - will load Windows 95 via GRUB4DOS

HD3 - Windows ME

HD4 - Windows 10 (NVME) - main drive

 

Windows boot manager can boot directly to DOS if I save the boot sector and I redirect to that file. I did this with Windows 98/Windows 10 - it was fast and clean. I think it only works if both partitions are on the same drive.

 

On HD0 it was easy to add Windows 2000 to boot menu, and it simply works by booting directly in 2K.

 

On HD1 I installed grub4dos with bootice, I copied the files on the drive, but it won t boot to Windows, just grub will showup. I copied default menu.lst to HD1 and picked chainload IO.SYS then it booted from HD2 where is another grub installation. Why?

 

Stuck at this stage.

 

How would you do it?

 

grub1.png

 

 

 

 

 



#2 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 3 weeks ago

Generally speaking, grub4dos menu.lst entries (the ones in the download or more generally "generic" entries you see around) tend to use find --set-root to establish root.

 

On most installations there are no issues as there is only one or two volumes (and one disk only) and the grub4dos and the "payload" that is chainloaded is on the first volume, the one that would be anyway booted with a conventional MBR.

 

Since you have a "more advanced" setup, you need to have a "specialized" set of menu.lst entries.

You can use command line to test and then make a new menu.lst entry.

 

As an example, a "normal" set of commands to boot "a" DOS is:

find --set-root /io.sys

chainloader /io.sys

boot

 

but that will boot first /io.sys it finds but depending on disk/volume order it might not be the one you want to load.

 

These (another example):
map (hd2) (hd0)

map (hd0) (hd2)

map --hook

root (hd0,0)

chainloader /io.sys

boot

 

Will instead boot surely the io.sys on first partition of third disk (after having remapped the third disk as first disk)

 

What is the actual boot hard disk (or do you change boot order in BIOS)?

 

Dos (and conversely Windows 9x/Me) want to boot from an active partition on the first disk (that becomes C: at boot) , so in a setting like yours you will normally need to remap disks otherwise.

 

There is a risk, depending on how exactly your system is configured, that you may accidentally make a (even if successful) "mixed mode" booting, i.e. - say - boot from a io.sys on one disk but continue to load files from another volume unless you take some precautions.

 

Describe how (exactly) you boot the grub4dos.

Then, where you are at the prompt (or press c for command line) issue the commands:
geometry (hd0)

geometry (hd1)

etc.

and post results so that I can understand what grub4dos sees at that stage

 

:duff:

Wonko 


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#3 Kimik

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Posted 3 weeks ago

Thanks, Wonko. I will surely try to remap drives and I will report back. Anyways, it still amazes me that after so many years and with so many tools available there is no simpler way to boot DOS from another drive. Maybe a check button like `Boot as the first drive` - to automatically insert the necessary code so a particular drive would be treated as the `C: drive` by DOS/Windows 9x.



#4 Kimik

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Posted 3 weeks ago

So,
grub00.png
with the code bellow will boot from HD0 (Windows 3.11) - as is listed by bootice:

map (hd2) (hd0)map (hd0) (hd2)map --hookroot (hd0,0)chainloader /io.sysboot

It will boot with HD1 (Windows 98) if it change to:

map (hd3) (hd0)map (hd0) (hd3)

It will boot with HD3 (Windows Me) if it change to:

map (hd4) (hd0)map (hd0) (hd4)

The bad news: this mapping will mess up how Windows 9x sees physical drives and it will boot in compatibility mode. In Windows 98/ME I have installed R. Loew AHCI patch. Also I have a PCI - SATA adapter with original 9x drivers from VIA and the adapter will work in compatibility mode only.

Maybe I have to reinstall drivers.

Next, how can I create separate BCD entries with separate mappings for each drive?


Edited by Kimik, 3 weeks ago.


#5 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 3 weeks ago

Well, this only exchanges two disks.

 

Possibly (please read as surely) more exchanges may be needed to re-create (if possible) the disk/drive order that the OS was installed to, possibly some partitions need to be hidden, etc.

 

For Dos/Win9x/Me you can try to use Letter Assigner to assign drive letters the way they were at install times.

https://msfn.org/boa...comment=1115060

 

I am not sure what you mean with "separate BCD entries with separate mappings for each drive" :dubbio:

 

:duff:

Wonko



#6 Kimik

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Posted 3 weeks ago

My goal was to use Windows Boot Manager, eventually with `Metro` graphical interface.

 

`Separate BCD entries with separate mappings for each drive` - would be Windows Boot manager showing me a list with all operating systems installed.

 

Right now, I can do this for Windows 10, 2K and 3.11 - so only one DOS boot option is available. If I want to add Windows 98 and Windows Me which are on different disks, I can edit menu.lst and add the correct mappings.

 

I  was wondering if I can use a different menu.lst on grub4dos - with a single boot option - and not separate boot options inside grub boot menu. I guess, the final option is to install grub on every DOS active partition - with it s own menu.lst. On the other hand, I really want to keep disks with the original DOS partition so I can boot directly to them from BIOS.

 

 

bootice_windows.png


Edited by Kimik, 3 weeks ago.


#7 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 3 weeks ago

Well you should not "install" grub4dos, only copy the grldr (and grldr.mbr if you use the Windows BOOTMGR and BCD as main bootmanager) to the root of the volume where the dos is.

 

But JFYI you don't actually *need* any menu.lst in such a scenario but rather you want to have a number of grldr copies, one for each DOS volume and each one with the embedded menu.lst modified to boot the specific DOS, so that there are not several menu.lst files here and there.

 

The normal embedded menu in grldr searches first thing for a menu.lst and (though of course it normally works just fine) there is IMHO a risk - in such a complex setup as yours - that it finds first the "wrong" menu.lst on another volume/disk.

 

Of course, if you do this, each grldr file will be "specific" to that particular volume.

 

It has also to be seen if the grldr.mbr will actually find the "right" grldr on the "right" volume. :dubbio:

 

:duff:

Wonko



#8 wimb

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Posted 2 weeks ago

I have a similar Multi-Boot System made with one Harddisk having three partitions

 

1. NTFS partition booting with Windows bootmgr Menu - Win 7/8/10 VHD - 10XPE WIM - XP - Grub4dos

    and Grub4dos Menu - DOS SuperFLoppy Image - BartPE - LiveXP - a1ive Grub2 FileManager

2. FAT32 partition booting via Grub4dos with Win98SE and several Linux ISO files

3. NTFS partition where Win XP/7/8/10 VHD files are located

 

The configuration is mainly build using WinNTSetup and UEFI_MULTI available at wimb GitHub

 

More Info: Attached File  Win10_Install.pdf   1.09MB   453 downloads and at MSFN Forum

 

XP_G4D_2020-06-16_133702.png == HDD_VHD_2020-06-16_134548.png == W10x64_VHD_2020-06-16_135813.png == W10x64_BCD_2020-06-16_140304.png

 

Attached File  Multi_Menu.zip   3.73KB   15 downloads



#9 wendy

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Posted 2 weeks ago

You should be able to run a vista, msdos, mswin and winnt boot from the same menu.  bootpart from http://www.winimage,comis your friend here,

 

hda should have several fat partitions (2*fat16 C, D,  a fat32, E, F an ntfs G

 

MSDOS is installed on a 120 MB partition C:  The first partition of the extended partition needs to be fat too, because of a bug in DOS.

 

Windows 3.1 can be installed on D, and run from MSDOS.

 

Win9x versions need to be installed on different drives, with different directory names, because they create a hidden directory name of the same name on c:\, so if E:\ creates a directory name E:\fenster, there is a matching C:\fenster.

 

WinNT (3.5-2k-xp), can be installed on any drive, and any number of them can be loaded through the same menu.  3.5 should be installed on a fat partition, because later versions change the version-number away from what windows can read.

 

Vista (6.x to 10.x), is like NT, but you have to create a BCD.  This becomes the primary boot, but you can group ntldr under 'older DOS versions'

 

bootpart can activate and install msdos, winnt and win95 boot-sectors into the menu.  It can also write bootmgr partitions if you are nice to it.



#10 wimb

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Posted 2 weeks ago

You should be able to run a vista, msdos, mswin and winnt boot from the same menu.  bootpart from http://www.winimage,comis your friend here,

 

 

BootPart is the working link and can be interesting as well for a Multi-Boot Retro computer.

 

@Kimik and @wendy

What hardware are you using that has sufficient driver support for all these old as well as the newest operating systems going from DOS to Windows 10 ?

On my system I am missing the Video driver for Win98SE but everything else is working quite well.



#11 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 2 weeks ago

I have a similar Multi-Boot System made with one Harddisk having three partitions

Define similar:

1) 5 different disks, many of which partitioned in several partitions/volumes/drives
2) 1 single disk with three partitions/volumes/drives

 

While it is not an issue for NT based systems, DOS (and conversely the "base" of windows 9x/Me) wants to boot from first disk, aka 80h or 128.

 

Hence the need for exchanging disks. since you have only one disk it doesn't of course apply to you.

 

The advice by Gilles Vollant, unless you use grub4dos to exchange disks, remains valid (some 27 - twentyseven - years later):
https://www.winimage.com/bootpart.htm

 

 

The only thing I highly suggest is : your active partition on your first hard disk must be a FAT16 primary partition. This may be a small partition.

 

:duff:

Wonko



#12 wimb

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Posted 2 weeks ago

My approach is similar in that it covers booting with a similar range of operating systems.

My configuration is not at all similar, but indeed very different from the configuration used by Kimik.

 

I am using Grub4dos to launch a DOS SuperFloppy Boot Image file and to launch Win98SE from FAT32 second partition.

Everything begins with Windows bootmgr Menu on the NTFS first partition and there is no need of a FAT16 small partition.



#13 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 2 weeks ago

My approach is similar in that it covers booting with a similar range of operating systems.

My configuration is not at all similar, but indeed very different from the configuration used by Kimik.

 

I am using Grub4dos to launch a DOS SuperFloppy Boot Image file and to launch Win98SE from FAT32 second partition.

Everything begins with Windows bootmgr Menu on the NTFS first partition and there is no need of a FAT16 small partition.

Sure, as you are using grub4dos (mapping a floppy superdisk, etc., which is equivalent to use grub4dos to re-order disks).

 

You may as well run the 9x from a disk image, or any of the other n tricks that grub4dos makes possible.

 

Without it, you would still need that FAT16 (or FAT32 if DOS 6.22 is not in the equation) small partition

 

Bootpart was originally written in 1993, for window NT 3.1 or more probably NT 3.5, cannot remember, and has allowed all people to multiboot until new methods/programs came out.

 

:duff:

Wonko



#14 wimb

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Posted 2 weeks ago

Sure, as you are using grub4dos (mapping a floppy superdisk, etc., which is equivalent to use grub4dos to re-order disks).

 

You may as well run the 9x from a disk image, or any of the other n tricks that grub4dos makes possible.

 

Without it, you would still need that FAT16 (or FAT32 if DOS 6.22 is not in the equation) small partition

 

Bootpart was originally written in 1993, for window NT 3.1 or more probably NT 3.5, cannot remember, and has allowed all people to multiboot until new methods/programs came out.

 

 

In fact my DOS SuperFloppy Boot Image file is the equivalent of a FAT16 partition, but it is Virtual and is not a physical partition.

My harddisk has three partitions as described and the XP/7/8/10 VHD files are NTFS Virtual Partitions.

So there are a lot more partitions then the three partitions created on the harddisk.

 

Nowadays it is not needed and not advisable to work with bootsector files as done by BootPart.

We have now Boot Image files and Boot Managers and tools to make the Boot Menu's which makes live a lot easier.



#15 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 2 weeks ago

Nowadays it is not needed and not advisable to work with bootsector files as done by BootPart.

We have now Boot Image files and Boot Managers and tools to make the Boot Menu's which makes live a lot easier.

Of course it is not needed, still I don't see why it is not advisable to use something that works, and that works just fine.

 

For the record, I have a couple machine that multiboot NT/9x and 2000/Me using XOSL 2, graphical menu and all, they simply work.

 

You use what you have available, and as long as it works, it is fine, as you may well know I am a big fan of grub4dos and all its features/possibilities, that opened a whole new range of possible different ways, but this does not mean that older tools/approaches are "bad".

 

:duff:

Wonko



#16 wendy

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Posted 2 weeks ago

Most of mine are VMs at the moment. 

 

I have a version of bootpart,exe that has been patched to do PC-DOS, rather than MS-DOS. 

 

There are some interesting proggies at bootland.ru, which allows you to boot Winnt and Vista from a msdos or dos9x boot.

 

As for software, I have versions from the days they were active. 

 

OS names are by their boot loaders, so PCDOS is ibmdos.com/ibmbio.com, MSDOS is msdos.sys/io.sys, DOS9X is io,sys, WINNT is ntldr/ntdetect.com, and VISTA is bootmgr.

 

The current plan is to install MSDOS and DOS9X in a single boot session (currently works), and then run different versions of Win9x from the same DOS9X (currently, Win95 boots under Dos98se,



#17 wimb

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Posted 2 weeks ago

Of course it is not needed, still I don't see why it is not advisable to use something that works, and that works just fine.

 

For the record, I have a couple machine that multiboot NT/9x and 2000/Me using XOSL 2, graphical menu and all, they simply work.

 

You use what you have available, and as long as it works, it is fine, as you may well know I am a big fan of grub4dos and all its features/possibilities, that opened a whole new range of possible different ways, but this does not mean that older tools/approaches are "bad".

 

 

Sure, BootSector files are not bad as long as they work for you.

A disadvantage of BootSector files is that they are specifically made for a given drive and partioning.

The Bootsector files cannot be simply copied to other drives like we do with Boot Image files.

The fact that an approach is working does not mean that there are no better solutions available .... 



#18 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 2 weeks ago

Sure, BootSector files are not bad as long as they work for you.
A disadvantage of BootSector files is that they are specifically made for a given drive and partioning.
The Bootsector files cannot be simply copied to other drives like we do with Boot Image files.

Hence the usefulness of bootpart to recreate them.
And it is not like lots of people move image files here and there on a daily bases, normally an OS is installed on a given machine and that's it.

Mind you, I am among the people that contributed a little to have Windows XP "portable" on USB sticks (besides as you well know contributing originally to making it possible to install it from USB) so it is not like I am at all contrary to new, strange ways of doing things, still, when old school methods work, they work.

The fact that an approach is working does not mean that there are no better solutions available ....

But the fact that a newer (and "better") approach exists does not mean that any of the previously working approaches needs to be disparaged.
More options is good, anyone can choose the one that better fits his/her situation/setup/use, etc.

:duff:
Wonko




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